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Old 06-01-2005, 06:55 AM
Belair62 Belair62 is offline
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Default Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE...Tenney talked to Jim Wangers recently about this car and the story has some new facts.


I remember my dad speaking of his friend Jim Wangers' GTO. How he'd
feel the blood rush to the back of his head when Jim would get on it.
He'd quote the numbers it achieved in the controversial Car and Driver
magazine test comparing it to the Ferrari GTO. He'd tell me it was the
fastest car on Woodward Avenue.

I remember Jim's GTO in the lot at dad's office, McManus, John and
Adams, when I was four years old. The heat rising from the front
fender wells (of which I paralleled in height at the time), along with
the smell of fuel, oil and rubber. Oh, and it was the first car I'd
heard make those noises.

Feel pretty lucky to have it parked in our garage, today.

Jim ordered it new for the infamous Car and Driver test comparing it to
the Ferrari GTO (11/08/63 Production Manifest states “Delete all
insulation” “Memo 199 Tag Wangers”, among other stuff.). Additionally,
a 421 was installed. Per Jim Wangers, this was a factory effort. The
motor was a stock, big car 421 HO. It was “Bobcatted” at Royal Pontiac
and driven by Jim to Florida for the acceleration chapter of the C&D
road test.

A 389 equipped, nocturne blue pilot GTO was used for the "handling"
portion of evaluation.

The 421 in the red car met w/a bearing issue (#6, per Jim) during
testing and was flat-towed back to Royal by the blue pilot car. A
thankless task, it turns out, as the blue pilot car was crushed (also a
factory effort) shortly upon return. The red car (er, this one), fresh
“Bobcatted” 421 HO in place, was given to Wangers as his demo. It was
never modified beyond this while with Jim.

It was the car to beat on Woodward for a while, I'm told. And drew the
attention of, among others, a Royal Oak Cop named Bill Sherman. Near
the end of the year (08/21/04), Wangers took a new ’65 GTO demo, and
the ‘64 was placed in the showroom at Royal and sold, w/warranty, to
Bill Sherman. As noted, he knew what he was buying (Bill of Sale reads
“Wangers Demo”).

Bill also raced the GTO (at the track). The 421 eventually grenaded
and Bill installed a 428 and ran it some more. Then he parked it for a
while. At some point Bill and Milt Schornack (Royal's wrench) brought
the car back out, this time with a period-correct 421, 12.5 to 1’s,
Lunati solid roller, headers and cowl plenum - along w/a locked diff.
and 4.33's in a 12 bolt - for further track duty.

This is the way the car is currently configured - w/original paint,
interior (except front carpet) and 44K on the clock. Bill kept every
scrap of paper the car came with, along with subsequent service
records, bound in a notebook, which is still with the car.

Bill passed away, and his widow sold the car a decade, or so, ago to a
fellow in New Jersey. It is he who I pestered into, thankfully,
sending it along to me, recently.

It's a bit of a chipped up relic, and has Day 10 (or so) written all
over it. It'd likely be ripe for a resto for some. I sort of like it
as it sits, though.













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Old 06-01-2005, 07:49 AM
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Xplantdad Xplantdad is offline
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

Very cool GTO...I love the 64's. What a great story to go along with a very nice car! COngrats on getting it...by the way...leave it "Day 10"...
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:55 AM
Lynn Lynn is online now
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

I think I remember reading that "test" comparison. If I remember correctly, the guys at Car &amp; Driver had virtually no drag race experience. Seems like they got the best time in the Pontiac by starting out in 2nd gear. Complained that there was simply too much "torque multiplication" to start out in first. Guess they never heard of feathering the throttle off the line!!! Yeah, that's how to ring out a muscle car and get the best time. This ring a bell for anyone? Anyone have a copy of the article? I am going completley on memory here, as I would have read this article while in college in the early 70's (had a bunch of car mags on microfiche in the library).

Someone help me out here.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

Was this car in Vineland, NJ?
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

Very Nice! Congrats..!
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:04 PM
Ngtflyr Ngtflyr is offline
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

Awesome car, great history very cool that you knew some of the people involved, looks great in pictures. IMHO you shouldn't restore it.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:54 PM
mike s mike s is offline
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

awesome GTO ,my old man always wanted a 64-67 GTO when i was a kid probably would have traded me in for 1 lol
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:12 AM
GTO_DON GTO_DON is offline
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

Marlin,I think its the car Conte's Corvettes had in the back of the shop. vineland nj.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:19 AM
BlownAway BlownAway is offline
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

that is an awesome piece......I wonder if thats the GTO that Wangers used to sucker guys with...they would tool around to the cruise spots or hang outs and sucker guys into races...what they would do (Wangers) was get them to bet against a bone stock GTO and pull the "HOTTER" one out after they made their wagers...this story was told by Wangers himself....it thats the one....you have indeed a very special car....
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Tenney's 64 Wangers GTO...

That's what I thought Don, found via a newspaper ad in Phila?
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